Sunday, 24 June 2018

An accident in a Lager brewery

Why am I posting a areport of an industrial accident court case? Because it gives some interesting details about the pitching of lagering vessels.

It sounds like a fairly unpleasant accident. it would have to be to get £60 damages. That's like a year's salary.
"Employers’ Liability.
The case of Hume v. Imperial Lager Beer Company, Limited, which came before the Lord Chief Justice and Mr. Justice Mathew on January 29th, was an appeal from the County Court at Edmonton where the plaintiff had obtained a verdict for £60 damages for personal injuries.

Mr. Colam, appearing for the appellants, said the notice of motion was that judgment should be entered for the appellants or in alternative for a new trial, on the ground that there was no evidence of negligence to go to the jury, and that the learned judge had misdirected the jury in the summing-up. The defendant company had several large vats in which they stored beer, which had to be cleaned out about every three months. For that purpose hot pitch was poured into them, and it was afterwards heated with red hot irons, and ignited by a kind of torch, and stirred round with the hot irons until the whole of the pitch was liquid, and then the vats were rolled about the yard until the inside was thoroughly coated with pitch.

The Lord Chief Justice asked if that was done to give a flavour to the beer.

Mr. Colam said no; it was to make them thoroughly beer-tight. That practice had been in use for a long tune. The plaintiff spoke to it for five years, and no explosion had ever taken place before, but on the occasion in question an explosion occurred, which drove a piece of wood out of the bottom of the vat. This struck the plaintiff and knocked him down, and some hot pitch which he was carrying fell over him and scalded him. There was no evidence to show how the explosion was caused.

The Lord Chief Justice asked if there was not some evidence that the hoops were loose.

Mr. Colam said that point was expressly abandoned by Mr. Statham, who appeared for the plaintiff. He submitted that there must have been some chemical in the pitch which caused the explosion, but there was no evidence that the pitch ought to be lighted or tested in any way before it was used."
"The Brewers' Journal, 1898", page 116.
If they were repitching every three months, that implies a lagering time of that length. Which is the classic lagering time. The process of setting light to hot pitch sounds pretty dodgy. And I certainly wouldn't want to have pitch splash over me, as in the case of the unfortunate Mr. Hume.

I like the judge asking if the pitch lining was for flavour. Though there are plenty of reports of Lager made this was having a garlicy flavour. Sounds lovely.
"The Lord Chief Justice said perhaps the word explosion was hardly the correct term in the ordinary sense, but probably in every case when the light was applied there was something of the same nature in a less egree. There would be a sudden expansion of the gases in the interior. Mr. Colam said the evidence was that there had never before been any explosion, but that there was a sort of humming noise. His complaint was that the learned judge by his summing up led the jury to believe that because a piece of the vat came out w en the explosion took place, that was evidence that the vat was defective. There was no evidence whatever of actual defect.

Mr. Justice Mathew said there was evidence that the vat was an old one.

Mr. Colam said it was only proved to be five years old, and it had gone through this process about every three months.

Mr. Justice Mathew said there was no evidence it was only five years old.

The Lord Chief Justice said a pitcher might go often to the well and yet get broken at last.

Mr. Colam then read the summing up, pointing out passages of which he complained, and again submitted that the learned judge had led the jury to a wrong conclusion, and that there was no evidence of negligence.

The Lord Chief Justice, without calling on Mr. Statham, said the learned judge left the question to the jury whether the injury to the plaintiff arose from the defective state of the vat, and whether such defect might by reasonable care have been discovered and guarded against, and it could not be contested that that was a roper uestion to be left to the jury. But it was contended on the part of the defendants that there was no evidence which ought to have been left to the jury that the injury did arise from the defective state of the vat. After reading the section of the Act, and referring to the operation performed, he said it seemed clear on the evidence that this operation exerted a certain amount of pressure outwards on the vat which was submitted to it. One of the witnesses said that when the light was applied flames came out, and a noise is heard; "hum ming, like a report." He did not doubt, therefore, that there was caused by the lighting of the pitch a kind of modified explosion in every case, or at all events a pressure arising from something of the character of an explosion. On the occasion in question this pressure resulted in a portion of the vat being forced out. He did not find in the evidence that the plaintiff was at any great distance, but he fell to the ground, and the pitch he was carrying went over him. Did not that state of facts raise a prima facie case of negligence within the meaning of the Act, which had to be answered? It could only have arisen from the fact that the vat was not strong enough to bear the operation. It was suggested that this was an exceptional operation, that there were chemicals in the pitch which caused the explosion, but if that was the suggestion it was for the defendants to show that such a thing was possible, and they called no evidence at all. The evidence was that this vat was five years old to the knowledge of the plaintiffs, but of its actual age there was no evidence at all: or that any examination had been made of it to see whether it was sound. Under these circumstances he could not say that there was not evidence proper to be considered by the jury, and what they said after giving their verdict showed that they understood and appreciated the matter submitted to them, and had formed an opinion which seemed to him to be a sensible one. They said, “The jury would like to add that if proper means had been adopted to ascertain the strength of the vat before firing, the explosion probably would not have occurred." The summingup must be taken as a whole, not isolated sentences or half sentences by themselves, and taking it as a whole he thought the learned judge had left the proper questions to the jury, and in the proper way. The verdict and judgment would therefore stand.

Mr. Justice Mathew concurred, and the appeal was therefore dismissed with costs."
"The Brewers' Journal, 1898", page 116.
I'm glad that Mr. Hume got to keep his sixty quid. Sounds like he deserved it.

The Imperial Lager Brewery was in Tottenham. It opened in 1882 as the Anglo-Bavarian Lager Beer Brewery & Crystal Ice Factory. It changed its name to the Tottenham Lager Beer & Ice Factory 1886. That went into liquidation in 1895and a new company called the Imperial Lager Brewery was created. It stopped brewing in 1903.

Saturday, 23 June 2018

Let's Brew - 1952 Shepherd Neame SXX

WW II was even more difficult for Shepherd Neame than other brewers. Because they were forced to use unmalted adjuncts, something they'd eschewed beefore the war. Once the shackles were off, they resorted to their pre-war habits.

Which were to brew all-malt Pale Ales. That doesn’t leave much to discuss about the recipe. It’s just a load of pale malt and a touch of malt extract. I assume that the latter was for extra enzymes in the mash tun. Though why you would need that in a beer without unmalted grains I’m not sure.

Shepherd Neame brewed an impressive range of Pale Ale, in ascending order: LDA (1030º), BB (1030º), BA (1035º), PA (1037º) and SXX (1041º). SXX was their Best or Special Bitter.

I find it strange that a brewery bang in the middle of England’s main hop growing area should use so many old hops. In this case around 85% of the hops were from the 1949 crop. Though, as they were all from its own hop garden, that might explain why. Were they just using up hops that they’d been saving for a rainy day?

Talking of hops, none of Shepherd Neame's Pale Ales were very heavily hopped. Again, not what you'd expect from a brewery in hop country.



1952 Shepherd Neame SXX
pale malt 9.25 lb 97.37%
malt extract 0.25 lb 2.63%
Fuggles 120 mins 1.00 oz
Goldings 30 mins 1.00 oz
Goldings dry hops 0.25 oz
OG 1041
FG 1008
ABV 4.37
Apparent attenuation 80.49%
IBU 26
SRM 4
Mash at 149º F
Sparge at 170º F
Boil time 120 minutes
pitching temp 62º F
Yeast WLP007 Dry English Ale

Friday, 22 June 2018

UK beer imports 1895 - 1897

As we've been looking at beer exports, we may as well look at imports, too.

There are a couple of things to be careful about. First, it's packages rather than a volume. Secondly, just because the beer was dispatched from a port in Belgium or Holland, it doesn't necessarily mean that the beer was brewed there. Much likely came from somewhere else, most likely Germany.

Though the beer shipped from Copenhagen probably did come from Denmark. And I think it's safe to assume anything coming from New York had been brewed in the USA. I'm shocked to see that any beer at all was imported from the US. The stuff coming from Copenhagen was probably mostly Carlsberg and Tuborg.

The beer itself was probably almost all Lager. That was about all that was imported into the UK. Top-fermenting styles were provided by domestic breweries.

Note that more than half of the imports came in via London. Not really surprising: London waws a massive port and much closer to the Continent than Liverpool, Dublin or Glasgow. I'd guess that the same was also true for exports. Though maybe not to quite the same extent.

Total importations of beer into the United Kingdom:—
From  London Liverpool Hull Harwich O.E Ports Dublin. Clyde &c. Total
pkgs. pkgs. pkgs. pkgs. pkgs. pkgs. pkgs. pkgs.
Hamburg 7,885 3,977 2,215 700 1,604 457 908 17,746
Bremen 20,827 1,075 1,351 - - - 3,525 27,078
Rotterdam 18,593 171 4,129 11,183 725 9,098 1,831 45,730
Antwerp 4,574 732 18 4,576 672 - 3 10,575
Amsterdam 14,718 282 5,655 - 2,754 - 3,064 26,473
Copenhagen 1,882 105 2,033 - - - 5,275 9,296
Christiania 154 - 618 - 14 - 66 852
New York 100 46 - - - - 50 195
Ostend 4,934 - - - - - - 4,934
Totals,1897 73,667 6,388 16,019 16,459 5,769 9,555 15,022 142,879
Do. 1896 53,257 10,179 13,468 14,026 4,997 8,250 14,655 129,442
Do. 1895. 55,429 11,868 11,775 17,082 4,079 8,282 14,130 122,645
Source:
"The Brewers' Journal, 1898", page 64.

Here are the numbers in bulk barrels:


UK beer imports 1895 - 1897 (bulk barrels)
1895 1896 1897
44,399 45,000 45,752
Source:
Dundee Evening Post - Monday 01 April 1901, page 2.


As 1 package seems to equate to about a third of a barrel, here's are the bulk barrels for each point of origin:


From bulk barrels
Hamburg 5915.33
Bremen 9,026
Rotterdam 15,243.33
Antwerp 3,525
Amsterdam 8,824.33
Copenhagen 3,098.67
Christiania 284
New York 65
Ostend 1,644.67

It's not a huge amount of beer.

Thursday, 21 June 2018

UK beer exports in 1897 (part two)

More table fun. Except this time I've derived my own new set of numbers. Cool, eh?

One thing is immediately clear: the biggest export market for Scottish brewers was the West Indies. I wonder why that was? I know that they did a big trade in strong Scotch Ale there. The high average price per barrel of those exports tends to confirm that.

Though overall, English exports were higher in price. Is that because English exports were mostly either Pale Ale or Stout, two expensive styles?

I'm truly shocked at how big a proportion of the beer sent to East India were from Scotland. That's certainly a change from a couple of decades earlier, when Burton and London provided most. In the form of Pale Ale and Porter. I wonder what the scots were sending? Maybe it was already Lager.

I think I've worked out the Irish conundrum. It's probably to do with how the statistics were collected. My guess is they did it at the port where the beer left the UK. Any Guinness that was shipped to Liverpool and then dispatched to wherever would be counted in the English numbers.

The same could be true of Scotland. Beer shipped from Leith to London and then sent on.

UK beer exports in 1897
England Scotland
Countries to which exported average value % average value %
Russia 3.69 95.94% 3.00 0.16%
Sweden 4.85 85.86% 2.79 14.14%
Norway 3.07 100.00%
Denmark 3.32 97.24% 3.50 2.76%
Germany 3.27 98.48% 3.94 1.23%
Holland 3.09 93.18% 3.14 6.70%
Belgium 3.02 92.20% 3.26 7.36%
Channel Islands 2.25 100.00%
France 2.91 100.00%
Portugal, Azores, and Madeira 3.23 98.42% 4.67 1.58%
Spain and Canaries 3.56 87.40% 4.47 12.60%
Gibraltar 3.09 99.86% 3.07 0.14%
Italy 3.93 91.50% 4.23 8.50%
Austrian Territories 5.00 100.00%
Malta 3.22 72.88% 3.16 27.12%
Greece 5.33 100.00%
Bulgaria 4.00 100.00%
Turkey, European 3.40 100.00%
Turkey, Asiatic 3.69 100.00%
Egypt 2.68 97.88% 4.30 2.12%
Tripoli and Tunis 2.98 100.00%
Algeria 4.50 100.00%
Morocco 3.28 100.00%
Spanish Ports in North Africa 3.00 100.00%
West. Africa, Foreign 3.56 100.00%
Western Africa, British 3.51 100.00%
Ascension & St. Helena 3.06 100.00%
British Possessions in South Africa 3.66 80.40% 3.77 19.60%
Eastern Africa, Foreign 4.90 79.69% 4.84 20.16%
Eastern Africa, British 5.30 100.00%
Abyssinia 4.50 100.00%
Madagascar 3.77 75.84% 4.49 24.16%
Bourbon 3.56 27.17% 4.51 72.83%
Mauritius 3.05 56.86% 2.85 43.14%
Aden 3.21 100.00%
Persia 3.43 100.00%
British East Indies
Continental Territories 3.21 27.13% 2.60 72.87%
Straits Settlements 4.17 45.94% 2.92 54.06%
Ceylon 2.85 83.66% 4.64 16.34%
lndia: Dutch Possessions
Java 4.28 99.07% 9.00 0.93%
Other Possessions 3.50 100.00%
Spanish Possessions
Philippine Islands 4.55 96.40% 4.78 3.60%
British Possessions:
Borneo 0.00% 4.25 100.00%
Labuan 6.67 100.00%
Siam 3.56 12.86% 4.75 87.14%
French Indo-China 6.54 68.42% 4.17 31.58%
China 3.74 91.37% 4.48 8.63%
Hong Kong 2.84 64.83% 2.68 35.17%
Japan 3.89 100.00% 0.00%
Australasia:
West Australia 3.94 81.19% 3.61 18.81%
South Australia 4.36 68.89% 5.04 31.11%
Victoria 4.13 64.09% 4.32 35.91%
New South Wales 3.79 64.98% 5.25 22.17%
Queensland 4.52 79.88% 3.24 20.12%
Tasmania 5.19 96.25% 2.41 3.75%
New Zealand 5.39 98.88% 3.56 1.12%
Fiji Islands 3.30 100.00% 0.00%
Islands in the Pacific 3.52 100.00% 0.00%
British North America 4.54 85.34% 2.88 14.66%
U. States of America 4.27 87.86% 6.80 1.45%
Bermudas 2.68 37.27% 3.23 62.73%
British W. Ind. Islands 3.90 20.68% 4.10 79.32%
Spenish W. Ind. Islands 3.23 85.28% 4.57 14.72%
French W. Ind. Islands 4.93 100.00% 0.00%
Dutch W. Ind. Islands 3.81 100.00% 0.00%
Danish W. Ind. Islands 4.69 43.48% 5.29 56.52%
British Honduras 3.83 70.65% 5.12 29.35%
British Guiana 3.88 12.67% 3.91 87.33%
Dutch Guiana 3.77 100.00% 0.00%
Hayti and S. Domingo 9.20 21.88% 4.57 78.13%
Mexico 3.93 89.87% 4.46 10.13%
Central America 4.69 96.43% 3.67 3.57%
Republic of Colombia 3.27 83.53% 4.49 16.47%
Venezuela 3.54 61.78% 4.60 38.22%
Ecuador 4.50 80.00% 7.00 20.00%
Peru 4.17 100.00% 0.00%
Chili 3.76 79.17% 4.03 20.83%
Brazil 3.52 99.19% 6.89 0.81%
Uruguay 4.10 88.12% 4.83 11.88%
Argentine Republic 4.08 99.59% 4.40 0.41%
Falkland Islands 3.34 100.00% 0.00%
Average 3.48 69.37% 3.17 29.87%
Source: 
The Brewers' Journal, 1898, page 391.

Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Let's Brew Wednesday - 1948 Lees Bitter

After all of those watery Milds here's something a little beefier. But only a little.  I wouldn't want you to go crazy or anything.

This iteration of Lees Bitter is notable for being very unremarkable. If you get what I mean.

If you’ve been paying attention, you might have noticed the lack of crystal malt in many Bitters, as is the case here. It’s surprisingly recently that it became a standard element of Pale Ale grists.

Black malt is slightly unusual in a Bitter. The quantity is so small it’s clearly just to add a little colour. The No.2 invert in the recipe is my substitution for invert and CWA.

As the hops were all English, I’ve guessed Fuggles and Goldings. The chances are they were that, or something similar.

An underlet raised the mashing temperature to 149º F.


1948 Lees Bitter
pale malt 7.00 lb 86.63%
black malt 0.08 lb 0.99%
enzymic malt 0.125 lb 1.55%
glucose 0.125 lb 1.55%
No. 2 invert sugar 0.75 lb 9.28%
Fuggles 105 mins 1.00 oz
Goldings 30 mins 1.00 oz
Goldings dry hops 0.25 oz
OG 1038
FG 1010
ABV 3.70
Apparent attenuation 73.68%
IBU 26
SRM 8
Mash at 147º F
Sparge at 170º F
Boil time 105 minutes
pitching temp 60º F
Yeast Wyeast 1318 London ale III (Boddingtons)

Tuesday, 19 June 2018

UK beer exports in 1897

Just a huge table today.

OK, a couple of quick points.

I was surprised to see only columns for England and Scotland, not Ireland. Then I spotted the note at the end of the table. Ireland isn't included because it exported bugger all beer. At least outside the UK. It shipped a shedload to England and Scotland. Fewer than 4,000 barrels in total. I thought that they brewed quite a bit more FES than than that.

Just checked the numbers I have for Guinness sales, grouped by Ireland, England and other. According to that, in 1897 Guinness sold FES 66,335 barrels, Export Stout  4,715, making a total total 71,050. ("A Bottle of Guinness please" by David Hughes, pages 276-279). Or a load more than in the official export figures. I'm pretty sure FES wasn't sold in the UK.

With just over 100,000, Australia was by far the most important single destination. Though, given their small populations, Gibraltar and Malt score very highly. I assume the vast majority was for the British military.

More analysis next time.

BEER EXPORTED FROM OCTOBER 1, 1896 TO SEPTEMBER 30, 1897:
From England From Scotland From the UK
Countries to which exported Quantity Declared Value Quantity Declared Value Quantity Declared Value
Brls. £ Brls. £ Brls. £
Russia 1,230 4,534 2 6 1,282 4,540
Sweden 85 412 14 39 99 451
Norway 72 221 - - 72 221
Denmark 423 1,403 12 42 435 1,445
Germany 12,650 41,324 158 623 12,845 42,031
Holland 3,855 11,908 277 869 4,137 12,790
Belgium 23,213 70,138 1,854 6,050 25,177 76,188
Channel Islands 18,150 40,841 - - 18,150 40,841
France 6,951 20,242 - - 6,951 20,242
Portugal, Azores, and Madeira 374 1,209 6 28 380 1,237
Spain and Canaries 1,068 3,807 154 688 1,222 4,495
Gibraltar 20,139 62,168 28 86 20,167 62,254
Italy 140 550 13 55 153 605
Austrian Territories 1 5 - - 1 5
Malta 22,886 73,649 8,515 26,907 31,401 100,556
Greece 18 96 - - 18 96
Bulgaria 1 4 - - 1 4
Turkey, European 162 550 - - 162 556
Turkey, Asiatic 589 2,173 - - 589 2,173
Egypt 17,485 46,942 379 1,629 17,864 48,571
Tripoli and Tunis 60 179 - - 60 179
Algeria 6 27 - - 6 27
Morocco 36 118 - - 36 118
Spanish Ports in North Africa 2 6 - - 2 6
West. Africa, Foreign 200 712 - - 200 712
Western Africa, British 1,527 5,361 - - 1,527 5,361
Ascension & St. Helena 1,401 4,290 - - 1,401 4,290
British Possessions in South Africa 19,021 69,557 4,638 17,468 23,659 87,025
Eastern Africa, Foreign 1,601 7,843 405 1,960 2,009 9,803
Eastern Africa, British 309 1,638 - - 309 1,638
Abyssinia 2 9 - - 2 9
Madagascar 135 509 43 193 178 702
Bourbon 25 89 67 302 92 391
Mauritius 1,973 6,013 1,497 4,260 3,470 10,273
Aden 3,702 11,876 - - 3,702 11,876
Persia 14 48 - - 14 48
British East Indies
Continental Territories 22,833 73,401 61,343 159,349 84,176 232,750
Straits Settlements 3,320 13,833 3,907 11,392 7,227 25,225
Ceylon 5,355 15,270 1,046 4,850 6,401 20,120
lndia: Dutch Possessions
Java 212 908 2 18 214 926
Other Possessions 6 21 - - 6 21
Spanish Possessions
Philippine Islands 241 1,096 9 43 250 1,139
British Possessions:
Borneo - - 8 34 8 34
Labuan 3 20 - - 3 20
Siam 9 32 61 290 70 322
French Indo-China 13 85 6 25 19 110
China 1,356 5,070 128 573 1,484 5,643
Hong Kong 4,983 14,175 2,703 7,249 7,686 21,424
Japan 175 680 - - 175 680
Australasia:
West Australia 19,135 75,316 4,434 15,989 23,569 91,305
South Australia 3,474 15,141 1,569 7,905 5,043 23,046
Victoria 9,750 40,316 5,462 23,598 15,212 63,914
New South Wales 30,130 114,078 10,281 53,958 46,370 168,010
Queensland 7,946 35,920 2,001 6,491 9,947 42,411
Tasmania 564 2,928 22 53 586 2,981
New Zealand 5,019 27,053 57 203 5,076 27,256
Fiji Islands 44 145 - - 44 145
Islands in the Pacific 82 289 - - 82 289
British North America 3,120 14,169 536 1,541 3,656 15,710
U. States of America 29,029 123,950 478 3,250 33,040 153,990
Bermudas 2,808 7,515 4,726 15,272 7,534 22,787
British W. Ind. Islands 3,247 12,649 12,455 51,017 15,702 63,666
Spenish W. Ind. Islands 3,593 11,621 620 2,832 4,213 14,453
French W. Ind. Islands 91 449 - - 91 449
Dutch W. Ind. Islands 75 286 - - 75 286
Danish W. Ind. Islands 70 328 91 481 161 809
British Honduras 207 792 86 440 293 1,232
British Guiana 494 1,915 3,405 13,302 3,899 15,217
Dutch Guiana 157 592 - - 157 592
Hayti and S. Domingo 98 902 350 1,599 448 1,961
Mexico 213 838 24 107 237 945
Central America 162 760 6 22 168 782
Republic of Colombia 1,258 4,114 248 1,114 1,506 5,228
Venezuela 236 835 146 671 382 1,506
Ecuador 16 72 4 28 20 100
Peru 370 1,544 - - 370 1,544
Chili 361 1,357 95 383 456 1,740
Brazil 4,310 15,169 35 241 4,345 15,410
Uruguay 89 365 12 58 101 423
Argentine Republic 1,207 4,924 5 22 1,212 4,946
Falkland Islands 557 1,860 - - 557 1,860
Total 326,052 1,133,783 140,373 445,605 470,000 1,606,275
Included in the above total for the United Kingdom are the exports
from Ireland, comprising 42 barrels exported to Germany and Holland,
valued at £97, and 3,633 barrels for the United States, valued at £26,790.
Source: 
The Brewers' Journal, 1898, page 391.